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-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

Busy Bee Jun 9, 2010 2:44 PM

Well at least the headhouse now seems to have more in common with the tacky cluttered mess that is the rest of the renovated downtown Red Line stations.

Futura vs. Optima? Futura wins every time.

sammyg Jun 9, 2010 3:42 PM

This caption says "Apple's contractors" I don't know if there's any basis to it or not.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zolk/46...7621014018884/

Mr Downtown Jun 9, 2010 8:34 PM

I'm pretty sure that Apple contractors did the work, because that would avoid the government bidding process, Davis-Bacon problems, Public Building Commission, aldermanic approval, etc. It's why those of us working to get the subway stations listed on the National Register were completely blindsided: we never even thought about a private business doing the evil deed.

spyguy Jun 14, 2010 3:01 PM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel...556,full.story

Reverse commute takes their time
By Dan Simmons
June 13, 2010


Amy McGee got to the bus stop and wrapped Carmen Cartagena in a hug so effusive it almost looked like a tackle. As two dozen other passengers waited glumly for the No. 606 bus on a recent drizzly morning, the women laughed and gossiped like giddy chums.

These two "bus buddies" shared the moment, a kind of we're-in-this-together embrace as they waited at a stop in Rosemont to begin the last leg of their grueling commutes.

aaron38 Jun 16, 2010 5:34 PM

Palatine Connector Proposal
 
I haven't posted for a while, hasn't been much of interest to post. But Palatine is updating their master plan for 2010 and in it I saw this proposed "Palatine Connector" route with stops. The 4 in green are ones I added.

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r...ctorUpdate.jpg

Now the plan doesn't make any mention of technology so I'm not sure exactly what "stops" is supposed to mean. A streetcar? But realistically I think this could work really well as a new Pace bus route, and it makes sense as a way to start reconfiguring the suburbs, especially if the bus is given signalling priority.

First, it provides critical access between the downtown Metra station and Harper College, and in so doing passes by a grocery store shopping plaza and Fremd HS. It then heads north past the Village Hall/Rec Center, the new Police station / library / office park and a residential midpoint (green) before hitting the big box retail area at Rand/Dundee. Palatine is land locked, so the 2010 plan has that whole area being reconfigured to add in mixed use developments, replace a lot of big parking lots and add back in side street access, while keeping it a main commercial district. Palatine HS is located just south of the Rand/Dundee intersection, so has access as well. At Harper riders could transfer to the 696 bus for most of Schaumburg.

The route is pretty short, under an hour round trip with stops. So 4 staggered busses would give 15 minute service. If it's that reliable, it gives the entire downtown core and everyone along that route car-free access to almost everything they need in town. And it allows much of the town to get to the central area for fireworks, festivals and evenings without a car.

What do you guys think about something like this, shorter, more frequent bus routes that tie suburbs internally together? Sure there's a big chicken/egg problem and no funds. But it would encourage denser transit oriented development, better access to the Metra and make communities more cohesive. As a long term plan to focus new developments it's not bad.


Edit: Okay, so this proposal is essentially just replacing the Palatine portion of the Pace 699 route that was cut in the spring, with the Harper to Sch portion transfered to route 696. Since 699 was cut due to low ridership, is there even any demand for this proposal?

But I guess that's the question. Instead of a long low frequency meandering route from Palatine through Sch to Elk Grove Village that nobody used, is it better to have a much shorter and more frequent route that just focuses on the high density areas, with transfers at the endpoints? Is that a better way to provide service?

ardecila Jun 17, 2010 6:14 AM

I really don't understand why the bus goes up to Lake Cook and Rand. There's nothing there but used-car dealerships. That intersection has massive traffic on the turning movements, so you'll never make it pedestrian friendly, either. The proposed bus should extend to Deer Park, or get cut off at Hicks.

To make the transit service feasible in the short-term, you'd need some sort of major employer. Fortunately, Harper fulfills that role. The bus route, if it ran frequently enough and had nice facilities at Harper, might attract quite a few students and college employees.

I'm skeptical that a single 15-minute bus is enough to attract people looking for a transit lifestyle, though, especially in an auto hell like what exists at Rand/Dundee. Any new development there will still be pretty auto-centric functionally, although it could definitely be urban in form.

The details could make or break the bus route, too... building bus bays at each stop with a nice-looking shelter, and making sure that sidewalks exist in the area, would go a long way toward making the bus a feasible option for more than just the workers at the Wal-Mart.

It's interesting that Palatine is looking to redevelop the Rand/Dundee area, though. The mall with the Whole Foods in it is likely to get redeveloped soon, as Whole Foods is looking for any chance they can get to move into some nicer digs. They had an agreement with a developer to move to Kildeer about 2 years ago, but the developer couldn't line up construction financing.

Mr Downtown Jun 17, 2010 2:06 PM

Just as a matter of principle, I hate to see transit become balkanized, with Wilmette and Niles and Palatine running their own buses, paying inordinate attention to municipal boundaries, and not integrated with the regional system.

aaron38 Jun 18, 2010 4:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4880646)
I really don't understand why the bus goes up to Lake Cook and Rand.

It wouldn't anytime soon. The long term roadmap has that entire north area being a new planned development. But that's years and years away, if ever. So the route would probably just turn around at Rand/Dundee and head back south.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4880646)
I'm skeptical that a single 15-minute bus is enough to attract people looking for a transit lifestyle, though, especially in an auto hell like what exists at Rand/Dundee.

I'm not sure it would either, not right away. But I think it could let a 2-car family go down to 1 car, especially for the central area where a lot of the condos only come with one space. The burbs are just too spread out with too many destinations to not depend on the car for a long time.

But if a transit corridor is established and all new high density development is focused on it, then usage will increase long term as density increases. Rather than try to serve all needs, mass transit should focus on replacing the numerous high frequency short trips that people make on a daily basis. And then use that pull to draw in more businesses and services to the areas people are already going to.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4880872)
Just as a matter of principle, I hate to see transit become balkanized, with Wilmette and Niles and Palatine running their own buses, paying inordinate attention to municipal boundaries, and not integrated with the regional system.

I don't want that either, but I also don't see a problem with routes that focus on interconnecting a community, if there are transfers at the borders. So a rider transfers at Harper to Sch. And Palatine already has the Metra. It'd take a lot of rolling stock to provide higher frequency transit along the line than the Metra already does. Why duplicate service?

There's nothing but low density residential to the North and West of Palatine. That leaves East and South. What I'd rather see is another Pace route that connects central Palatine to the Palatine Rd. / Arlington Heights Rd. shopping area, south to downtown Arlington Heights, south to the shopping at Golf, over to Woodfield and back up to Palatine. One loop that connects Palatine, Arlington Heights and Sch, along a route that's aleady carrying a lot of repetitive vehicle traffic.

Use one route to travel between burbs, and then transfer to a local that shuttles inside the burb. It's a different model, but when gas goes back to $5/gal, I think it would be well used.

emathias Jun 21, 2010 3:29 AM

Fire in Red Line Subway

Quote:

The fire involved creosote-soaked railroad ties, said fire officials. What ignited the fire is under investigation, but Langford said the railroad ties do occasionally catch fire during the summer heat.
Didn't the CTA just spend millions of dollars in 2008 to replace the wood ties with concrete ones? Why would there still be wood ties in the subway?

Rizzo Jun 21, 2010 3:39 AM

I thought they just replaced the brackets or whatever they are called that holds the rails to the ties. Part of it was just leveling the tracks for a much better ride. I don't recall seeing new ties during that replacement just brand new shiny brackets which of course are now covered in grime

Anyway, the smoke was being exhausted through chases right over by my building. I'll post more shots maybe later. I saw it at the tail end. I heard fire trucks for nearly 30 minutes but since I hear them all the time, I tend to ignore it. Had I gotten down there earlier you would see the whole street covered in black smoke. If you search around online you can find photos taken in the subway cars from phones. It's bad. The CTA is going to have some explaining to do. The way their spokesperson explained the situation is alarming. "catch fire occasionally" Whatever, how about catch fire never?

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4053/...81eae5d0_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4072/...6f00db6d_b.jpg

ardecila Jun 21, 2010 4:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 4884765)
I thought they just replaced the brackets or whatever they are called that holds the rails to the ties. Part of it was just leveling the tracks for a much better ride. I don't recall seeing new ties during that replacement just brand new shiny brackets which of course are now covered in grime...

Those would be "tie clips", I think.

It's my understanding that the ties were only replaced with concrete in degraded sections. I know the State Street Subway has concrete south of the river, but I dunno about north... those may have always been wood.

Most of the tie replacement was in the Dearborn Street Subway - CTA really focused on that after the derailment 2 years ago, and they received a hefty amount of stimulus dollars to revamp the track over there.

emathias Jun 21, 2010 4:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 4884765)
I thought they just replaced the brackets or whatever they are called that holds the rails to the ties. Part of it was just leveling the tracks for a much better ride. I don't recall seeing new ties during that replacement just brand new shiny brackets which of course are now covered in grime
...

I know for certain that at least some of the ties in the subway were replaced with concrete, and I'd thought they all had.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4884807)
...
It's my understanding that the ties were only replaced with concrete in degraded sections. I know the State Street Subway has concrete south of the river, but I dunno about north... those may have always been wood.

Most of the tie replacement was in the Dearborn Street Subway - CTA really focused on that after the derailment 2 years ago, and they received a hefty amount of stimulus dollars to revamp the track over there.

The derailment was actually 4 years ago.

Perhaps they only did concrete in certain sections of the Red Line, but I was pretty sure they did the whole thing that way, but I can't be completely certain. Hopefully someone can find out.

nomarandlee Jun 21, 2010 11:12 AM

Quote:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...ride21.article

RTA has $24 billion repair bill
Agency says it needs money for CTA, Metra and Pace infrastructure


June 21, 2010

BY MARY WISNIEWSKI The Ride

The region's transit system needs about $24 billion in capital spending over the next 10 years, according to a Regional Transportation Authority report to be released Thursday.

That's "billion," with a "b."

The money is needed for repairs to CTA, Metra and Pace's infrastructure, according to the RTA. That includes trains, buses, rail bridges, rails, stations and other facilities.

Of that $24 billion, $13 billion is for backlogged improvements, which means vehicles and structures that are already beyond their useful life, according to RTA spokeswoman Diane Palmer. Old equipment means operating expenses that could go into improving service is instead going into repairs.

Gov. Quinn signed legislation last year giving $2.7 billion in capital expenses over five years to the RTA. But the money hasn't come yet, because the state hasn't figured out how to raise it.

"Everything was signed, just not delivered," said Palmer.

A more detailed report on capital needs will be presented at Thursday's meeting.

Transit agencies across the country are having trouble getting capital funding. The Federal Transit Administration has found that transit agencies face a $78 billion backlog deferred projects.
..............

Busy Bee Jun 21, 2010 3:43 PM

Quote:

The Federal Transit Administration has found that transit agencies face a $78 billion backlog deferred projects.
Honestly, this seems like it would be higher. More like 200 B if you throw in wish list projects.

VivaLFuego Jun 21, 2010 4:50 PM

The creosote-soaked wood tie explanation is strange, since there aren't any wood ties left except in the subway at the special trackwork (like the crossover south of Grand or under Division/Clybourn). The amount of smoke was such that debris fire also seems unlikely. Given that it occurred at the curve, my unofficial and uninformed guess (I've been in Denver so have nothing first-hand to offer) is that the grease on the curve caught fire, producing a prolonged smoky burn without highly visible "flames." I suppose it's possible an old wood tie was left down there after the construction, and it somehow caught fire, but the apparent amount of smoke involved suggests more than a little half-tie being on fire.

Somewhat presciently, modernized subway ventilation systems are one of the many backlogged capital projects for all of the older, pre-UMTA subway systems.

emathias Jun 21, 2010 8:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4885380)
The creosote-soaked wood tie explanation is strange, since there aren't any wood ties left except in the subway at the special trackwork (like the crossover south of Grand or under Division/Clybourn). The amount of smoke was such that debris fire also seems unlikely. Given that it occurred at the curve, my unofficial and uninformed guess (I've been in Denver so have nothing first-hand to offer) is that the grease on the curve caught fire, producing a prolonged smoky burn without highly visible "flames."
...

Once again, Viva is on the money:

Crains:
CTA fire may have started when track grease ignited

ArteVandelay Jun 21, 2010 11:42 PM

The initial reports regarding creosote soaked ties were 100% incorrect - as Viva said, it is the grease that caught fire. This is very similar to a fire about a year ago in the same area.

The fire itself is likely caused by a large electrical arc that can occur between the rails in sharp curves. Throughout the system in most locations one of the running rails contains a large negative current for the signal system, and the unique design of the restraining rails in these curves results in the potential for a large electric arc. Between the arc, garbage, and grease, you have the makings of a smoky fire.

CTA has been trying to get an updated ventilation system installed for years, but like anything else, it would be very costly and there is no money. In all likelihood it was a very small fire - but it doesn't take long for a small grease fire to fill a tunnel with an unbearable amount of smoke if ventilation is lacking.

ardecila Jun 22, 2010 3:24 AM

The Red Line northbound between Chicago and Clark/Division was agonizingly slow today... I'm assuming that was fire-related?

Rizzo Jun 23, 2010 4:44 AM

There may be some damage.

Speaking of grease. I hate walking along state between Bellevue and Oak where it's as if grease or some slippery substance was just poured over the sidewalks. Even more slippery when you walk across the subway grates. It was incredibly annoying and I have no idea where it all came from, but it stank horrible and the sidewalks were slippery.

spyguy Jun 23, 2010 4:57 PM

http://chicagoist.com/2010/06/23/bik...s_to_chica.php

Bike Sharing (Finally) Comes to Chicago
By Lindsey Miller


Mayor Daley announced at the Bike to Work Week Rally last week that Chicago is getting a bike share program come July. He's been talking about this for many years, so we're glad it's finally happening. Chicago is following Denver's lead and using the B-cycle bike-share program, which seems to have been quite popular there since it started in April with 500 bikes and over 18,000 rides so far.

In Chicago, riders will need to have a membership card to get a bike and lock (helmet not included). Cards are $10 for one day, or $35 for 30 days, $45 for 60 days, and $55 for 90 days. The first half-hour on the bike is free, and each additional half hour is $2.50. Bikes will be available for pickup at McCormick Place, Museum Campus, Buckingham Fountain, the Chicago Park District headquarters at 541 N. Fairbanks Ct., and two downtown locations to be announced. Drop-offs are at any B-station, Navy Pier, North Avenue beach, Millennium Park, and any Bike & Roll rental station.
---

Given the price points, does anyone find this an attractive option?

B Cycle station in Denver
http://img532.imageshack.us/img532/4...4383849b9b.jpg
tracy out west / flickr


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